By News Team
21st May 2021
Darts’ Premier League returns on Monday with multiple mega clashes in store as ‘Phase 2’ continues.
It’s incredibly tight at the top of the table, with the top three players being separated by just two points. We take a look at the upcoming fixtures as well as the tournament favourites.
The MVG of old
Is it too early to say that Michael van Gerwen is back? After a year of underperforming – by his impeccable standards – MVG seems to have grabbed this year’s Premier League by the horns and is currently sat top of the table with a two-point cushion to second place. He’s looked fantastic, which is echoed by his monster +21 leg difference.
The Dutchman is currently the favourite at 13/8 to add a sixth Premier League title to his collection but still faces a few tough fixtures in order to secure qualification to the play-offs. Van Gerwen faces second-placed Nathan Aspinall in his next game and then will have to negotiate past Gary Anderson, Jose de Sousa and finally Peter Wright. Aspinall was the Premier League runner-up last year and will be desperate to go one better in a bid for more silverware.
Van den Bergh dreaming of the play-offs
Dimitri Van den Bergh has arguably been the player of the tournament so far. In his full Premier League debut, he’s shone from the outset. Van den Bergh remained unbeaten until night five when he eventually lost to De Sousa, but strong results against Jonny Clayton and Aspinall have left him only two points off Van Gerwen.
Van den Bergh was widely tipped before the tournament as the format suits his style of play and he’s looked incredibly comfortable and level-headed while throwing his arrows. He’s averaged over 100 in seven of his 12 games played and will be looking to continue that fine form.
Currently 3/1 to win the tournament, Van den Bergh, who sits third in the table, will be looking ahead to his remaining games where he faces De Sousa, James Wade, Wright and Clayton.
A special run from De Sousa
De Sousa, another Premier League debutant, has enjoyed a fruitful run in the event of late. He’s only lost one in his last nine Premier League fixtures and that’s seen him sneak into the play-off places on leg difference.
De Sousa has been thumping in big scores but felt as though his doubles were letting him down in the early stages. Now he’s up and firing he’ll be extremely tough to beat.
With games against Van den Bergh, Clayton, Van Gerwen and Aspinall remaining, he’s arguably got the hardest run of any player. He’s 6/1 to make his Premier League dream come true.
Clayton continuing monumental rise
Another player who is having a stellar year is Clayton. He’s been widely praised by other professionals as being the best player in the world right now. Although the rankings don’t agree with that, his form certainly does. He’s the reigning Masters champion and has picked up two Players Championships this year. He carried that form into the Premier League and currently sits fifth in the table, only three points off top spot.
He’s riding a wave and long may it continue. At 6/1, he’s joint in the market with Aspinall and De Sousa in what looks like one of the closest Premier Leagues we’ve had in recent memory. Clayton’s remaining games include Anderson, De Sousa, Wright and Van den Bergh. A tough few games certainly, but if he could take get a few solid results then he’s more than capable of securing a play-off position.
Down but not out
Anything can happen in darts and with names like Peter Wright, Gary Anderson and James Wade fighting for the play-offs, the table can easily be shaken up.
Eight-placed Wright has been struggling of late and has lost his last three consecutive Premier League games. The 2020 world champion will have to turn on the heat to climb the table and is 100/1 to go all the way.
Anderson (14/1) and Wade (20/1) have been largely inconsistent during this season’s Premier League but the Flying Scotsman has won his last two games. Anderson has a hard run of games, facing Clayton, Van Gerwen, Aspinall and Wade, but if he can carry on his winning form, he’ll be knocking on the door of play-off qualification.